Theres your top 5 people. Stevie, Hart, Neethling, Blenki and Mi
Laurence CE might be in a tin bird on his way back from the land of the Viking but by the wonder of modern technology we have his gallery from the Hafjell World Cup Finals right here. If you haven't checked out the DirtTV edit then make sure you get your eyes around it.
Morning fog hung low in the valley as the start times approached. Overnight rain meant the track was slick but luckily the mud was thin keeping speeds high.
The first signs of wetness whilst walking down to the gondola station. Soggy tyre marks signify that its going to be a wet one!
At first the trail held up well, the hard packed sections puddled and little, but the majority of the soft, loose dirt drained well…that was before the downpour came!
Mechanics were flat out stripping down and rebuilding bikes ready for finals, that coupled with washing down bikes after each run the pits were buzzing all day. No glamour behind the scenes packing down soaking pits after racing either.
Last minute tinkering to Sam Hill's race bike before he heads up for his race run. CRC race times all noted in the bottom right and they seem to think it's all about strippers in the cold here.
Juniors dropping in! Mark Wallace here pinned through the finals turns into the finish line. Top result for him, missing the top step behind Mike Jones and Innes Graham Mark ends up with 3rd.
Some tight junior racing to kick off the days excitement. Innes Graham qualifying first on friday but being pipped to the post by this young man. Mike Jones laid down a typical Welsh race run, soggy and slimy, just how he likes it! The second World Cup win for Mike Jones this year, putting him in great contention for the overall.
And then it rained. Midway through elite finals the heavens opened. The track became more of a swamp than anything else. With Andrew Neethling sat comfortably in the hot seat, the times ran slower and slower…but what could the top 20 riders pull out the bag?
Tahnee Seagrave, although only managing 12th place here in Hafjell secured the overall Junior Women's crown. A hugely successful season for her and the FMD race team, she will be going into Elites next year with huge confidence boost, raring to battle with the top girls!
Morgane Charre has had a good season so far, but is still yet to put down that top place we know she is capable of after winning World Champs last year in Leogang. 4th place here today, maybe she is saving her legs for next week!
Manon Carpenter, another rider with impressive stats to her name but still yet to be crowned first at a World Cup this year. Playing it safe in her race run and opting for the steady but smooth she came down with a 4:17 which was 7.631s behind Rachel. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/11_audio3.mp3"]
Last women down here in Hafjell Rachel Atherton drops in after a blinding quali run on Friday. Wet conditions, Rachel put it all on the line, riding on the edge, and it showed! 7 seconds up on Manon at the first split, she was on for a good time. Getting loose in the rocks and almost losing it a couple of times, she pressed on and took the win.
Exhausted and relieved, Rachel Atherton across the line after the wildest run this year. Now just to wait for team mate Beaumont and brother Gee to come sliding down the track. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/13_audio1.mp3"]
Muddy tyre tracks over the wooden board walk doesn't make it any easier to ride, with a few riders having sketchy moments coming over the final bridge gap, especially Fishbach who though a whip was a good idea, just managing to hold it on the landing. Worth a watch on the replay!
Innovative grip socks keeping the essential parts dry, just not recommended you ride with them. A warning on the glove for Sam Dale not to ride down with some extra rubber.
Umbrellas are out for the crowd at the base of the hillside. Big screen at the finish providing the amazing on track footage that Red Bull had to offer, including an extra long cable cam and super slow-mo. Top notch viewing from home, probably where most people wanted to be today!
Flat tyres were on the cards today with punctures all around. Wyn Masters, one of many riders to fall foul of the sharp rocks. Looking pinned in the top section during his run, this one wasn't meant to be.
Solid results for the Syndicate in Hafjell, Ratboy Bryceland came down and went into 3rd only to be pushed back to 14th by the time racing was done. One rider he won't mind being beaten by is Steve Peat who smashed his way to 6th spot only 1.7s behind Minnaar who took 5th.
Junior World Champion, Richie Rude, feeling comfortable back racing in the Elite category this week, but just not able to make that key top 20 position here in Hafjell, 55th today.
Needles didn't have a great quail run so was down the hill early, he's a rider that knows how to put a race run together but the podium steps have eluded him for a while now. Coming down in a period of on and off heavy rain he stuck in a solid time and he warmed the hot seat for a long time. 3rd for Needles this weekend shakes the disappointment from his home Worlds and will give him a boost for the final round in Leogang this weekend.
Andrew Neethling sitting tight in the hot seat, but with plenty more riders to come down, the tension was brewing, especially when the weather took a turn for the damp! The chance of champagne was becoming more of a reality as each rider crossed the line.
The swedish fan club getting the prize for the loudest today, old handlebars and rims kept the noise level high with the odd horn thrown in for good measure. It must have been the beer flowing that kept them warm in those skimpy tees…it definitely wasn't warm!
Not the largest crowd here in Hafjell, the rain keeping most of them glued to the live feed in the comfort of their homes. Either way the dedicated fans were track side cheering on and getting a piece of this loose action!
With Needles in the hot seat, team mate Danny Hart could throw a spanner in the works and thats just what he did. With the weather resembling Champery, could a repeat be on the cards? Coming down the hill and putting a second into Needles, Hart goes first with 8 riders still to drop!
It sure was a muddy one here in Hafjell. The week treated us well, but it seemed it was just keeping us sweet for the mud fest that was finals day.
Danny Hart, pinned all the way through to the finishing line. These last few corners were slick for the first time all week, and just when you wanted to push through to gain the last few milliseconds, this was not the time to throw it all away! [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/27_audio.mp3"]
Seemingly quite all week, Canadian, Stevie Smith stepped up to the plate for his race run. Showing his talent by muscling his Devinci through the mud, keeping speed over the top of the rocks and pedalling hard. A flat out run showed when he crossed the line. 1.6 seconds up on Danny Hart, he snaps the hot seat away potentially had bagged him self the win with only Gee to come down.
Green light, game on! Stevie Smith across the line, with what crowd their was going wild. But all eyes turn to the big screen to watch the current overall leader, Gee Atherton drops in!
Muddy race faces tell the stories. Happy, relieved, excited and angry, you see it all at the bottom of the hill!
Gee couldn't get it done today, in conditions straight out of his Welsh backyard sometimes it just goes wrong. Getting loose in the top section he knew he had to make some time up then in the middle rock section he looses his balance and comes to a sudden halt, chest first to a tree. Jumping back on, he was adamant to make it down the hill to try and at least bag a few points. He rolls across the line, its all over, 12th for Gee. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/31_audio.mp3"]
He has done it…Stevie Smith raises out of his hot seat and punches the sky to celebrate his second World Cup win this season.
An extremely disappointed Loic Bruni found himself OTB mid way down the track, no injuries but a bruised ego he took it hard. After such a great qualifying run in his head he could have had this one.
The hot seat got a little soiled yesterday, most of which was from Andrew Neethling who sat here for almost record time. Not sure if its mud or something else after watching team mate Danny Hart pin it down the hillside, knocking him off the number one perch.
The top three for you there. A 'Giant' sandwich for Stevie to squeeze between. Amazing results with Hart and Neethling standing proud.
The winning women's bike, sitting covered in mud in the pits. This girl has done the Atherton's proud this year with their success being owed to the riders and this machine.
Female podium with Rachel Atherton once again gracing the top spot. But with the points gap closing, its still all going to come down to the final round in Leogang for her to secure the overall.
For once, GT Factory Racing were not team of the day. Giant Factory Racing securing that title with their impressive 2nd, 3rd and 7th for Marcelo. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/38_audio.mp3"]
Theres your top 5, Stevie, Hart, Needles, Blenki and Minnaar. With some heart stopping racing, unpredictable conditions and exciting results, Hafjell will be a round to remember. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/39_audio.mp3"]
The podiums concluding the penultimate round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup here in Hafjell, but with the whole operation moving straight down to Leogang in Austria, it wont be long until the next fix of flat out racing. Join us later this week for more action!
Rachel Atherton dropping in last women down here in Hafjell after a blinding qualy run on Friday. Wet conditions, Rachel put it all on the line, riding on the edge, and it showed! 7 seconds up on Manon at the first split, she was on for a good time. Getting loose in the rocks and almost losing it at several moments, she pressed on, coming across the line in first, 7.6 seconds ahead!
It sure was a muddy one here in Hafjell. The week treated us well, but it seemed it was just keeping us sweet for the mud fest that was today!
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Theres your top 5 people. Stevie, Hart, Neethling, Blenki and Minaar! With some heart skipping racing, unpredictable conditions and exciting results, Hafjell will be a round to remember.
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If you enjoyed this then be sure to check out more of the coverage from the event below, featuring stats, Steve Peat helmet cam and track walk.